Governor Davis Receives Conservation Funding Achievement Award

Sacramento- The Trust for Public Land (TPL) honored Governor Gray Davis at TPL’s annual Winter Land Trust Meeting today by naming Governor Davis as the recipient of TPL’s Conservation Funding Achievement Award 2000. The Governor received the award for his leadership in creating new public funding for safe parks, open space, wildlife habitat, recreation, and water quality. Governor Davis was a critical proponent of Propositions 12 and 13, approved by voters last March, which generated $4 billion for land conservation, park improvements, and water quality.

“Governor Davis has helped create more funding for conservation than any other California governor. At this critical time in California’s history, with population and development on the rise, Governor Davis’ leadership positively impacts all California residents who enjoy local urban parks, beaches, river parkways, and the majesty of our wilderness and wildlife. Governor Davis is helping to ensure that Californians will have a natural legacy to pass onto to our children,” says Rachel Dinno, TPL’s Government Relations Director.

The Governor continues to advocate for the environment and has proposed $70 million for river parkways on the Los Angeles, San Joaquin, Tuolumne, Sacramento, and Guadalupe Rivers in the state proposed budget released in January.

Also honored at the land trust meeting in Sacramento, State Senator Jack O’Connell (D-San Luis Obispo) received TPL’s Legislator of the Year Award 2000 for his authorship of the Natural Heritage Preservation Tax Credit Act, which the Governor signed into law last year. The new law offers a tax incentive for people to donate their lands for conservation purposes.

“I am extremely gratified to receive this award,” said Senator O’Connell. “Preserving our precious open space is a fitting legacy for our children and their children.”

The new law grants a state income tax credit of up to 55 percent for donating land to a public agency. That, together with a similar federal credit, could equal the cost of the property, thus giving the donor full value for the land as if he or she had sold it outright to the state.

Also at the land trust meeting, TPL granted the fourth annual Land Trust Achievement Award to the Anza-Borrego Foundation. The Foundation received the award for its successful and effective work preserving more than 26,000 acres for the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The mission of the foundation is to permanently protect 50,000 acres for the Anza-Borrego State Park, which spans San Diego, Imperial, and Riverside counties. All of the foundation’s purchases are transferred to the California Department of Parks and Recreation for public protection.

“The Anza-Borrego Foundation is an important partner in building a stronger land conservation movement in California. Their work with California State Parks has helped protect thousands of acres of fragile desert land that otherwise might have been developed. TPL applauds the tremendous work of the Foundation,” says Reed Holderman, Executive Director of the Trust for Public Land-California.

The Trust for Public Land is a national, nonprofit land conservation organization dedicated to preserving land of recreational, ecological, and historical value for the public. TPL works with local, state, and federal agencies and grassroots community groups to protect open space nationwide. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has protected more than a million acres at a savings of over $175 million to the public.